Reading-The+Failure+of+American+Schools+-+Klein+-+The+Atlantic

Reading-The+Failure+of+American+Schools+-+Klein+-+The+Atlantic

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Unformatted text preview: June 2011 Print | Close The Failure of American Schools W HO BET T ER T O LEAD AN EDUCAT IONAL REVOLUT ION T HAN JOEL KLEIN, T HE P ROSECUT OR W HO T OOK ON T HE SOFT W ARE GIANT MICROSOFT ? BUT IN HIS EIGHT YEARS AS CHANCELLOR OF NEW YORK CIT YS SCHOOL SYST EM, T HE NAT IONS LARGEST , KLEIN LEARNED A FEW P AINFUL LESSONS OF HIS OW NABOUT FECKLESS P OLIT ICIANS, RECALCIT RANT UNIONS, MEDIOCRE T EACHERS, AND OT HER ENDURING OBST ACLES T O SCHOOL REFORM. By Joel Klein Above: Joel Klein in Brooklyn on the first day of school, two months before he resigned as chancellor IMAGE CREDIT: RAMIN TALAIE/CORBIS THREE YEARS AGO, in a New York Times article detailing her bid to become head of the American Federation of Teachers union, Randi Weingarten boasted that despite my calls for radical reform to New York Citys school system, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and I had achieved only incremental change. It seemed like a strange thing to crow about, but she did have something of a point. New York over the past nine years has experienced what Robert Schwartz, the academic dean of Harvards education school, has described as the most dramatic and thoughtful set of large-scale reforms going on anywhere in the country, resulting in gains such as a nearly 20-point jump in graduation rates. But the citys school system is still not remotely where it needs to be. That story holds more than true for the country at large. Nearly three decades after A Nation at Risk , the groundbreaking report by the National Commission on Excellence in Education, warned of a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people, the gains we have made in improving our schools are negligible even though we have doubled our spending (in inflation-adjusted dollars) on K12 public education. On Americas latest exams (the National Assessment of Educational Progress), one-third or fewer of eighth-grade students were proficient in math, science, or reading. Our high-school graduation rate continues to hover just shy of 70 percent, according to a 2010 report by the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, and many of those students who do graduate arent prepared for college. ACT, the respected national organization that administers college-admissions tests, recently found that 76 percent of our high-school graduates were not adequately prepared academically for first-year college courses. VIDEO: Joel Klein explains the twisted politics of New York education in a conversation with Atlantic editor James Bennet While Americas students are stuck in a ditch, the rest of the world is moving ahead. The World Economic Forum ranks us 48th in math and science education. On international math tests, the United States is near the bottom of industrialized countries (the 34 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), and were in the middle in science and reading. Similarly, although we used to have one of the top percentages of high-school and college graduatesscience and reading....
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This note was uploaded on 12/28/2011 for the course PLANNING & 10:832:101 taught by Professor Zitcher during the Fall '11 term at Rutgers.

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Reading-The+Failure+of+American+Schools+-+Klein+-+The+Atlantic

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